More Companies Pay for Employees to Have Genetic Tests in a Trend That Brings More Lab Test Volume to Medical Laboratories

As tests explore genetic markers related to excessive weight gain, and breast and ovarian cancer, companies as well as employees are seeing returns on investment and participation In a development that is auspicious for medical laboratories, more genetic tests are making their way into more corporate health benefit plans. Big brands—from Aetna to Visa—are partnering with personalized health companies and clinical lab companies doing genetic testing as they support tests to help employees...

Sound Wave Acoustic Tweezers Locate and Isolate Circulating Tumor Cells in Liquid Biopsies; Could Lead to Less Invasive Cancer Diagnostics and Treatments

Pathologists will be interested to learn that this latest version of the acoustic tweezer device requires about five hours to identify the CTCs in a sample of blood Medical laboratory leaders and pathologists are well aware that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) released by primary tumors into the bloodstream are fragile and easily damaged. Many studies have sought to find ways to separate CTCs from surrounding cells. Such a process could then be used as an early-detection biomarker to detect...

New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Study Where Researchers Call Attention to Lack of Knowledge about Some Genes Included in Gene Panel Tests for Inherited Cancers

Researchers are concerned about the lesser-known genes included in the test and also point out that little published research exists to support use of these genes for clinical laboratory testing Gene-panel tests for inherited cancers were scrutinized by a group of 17 prominent international genetic researchers in a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) this summer titled “Gene-Panel Sequencing and the Prediction of Breast-Cancer Risk.” These experts pointed out that,...

Health Insurers Balk at Paying for Multigene Panels While Clinical Pathology Laboratories and Physicians Pursue Evidence of Clinical Utility

News reports state that Anthem and Cigna have denied payment for some multigene panel tests, saying that the tests are unproven. Other insurers, such as UnitedHealthcare and Priority Health, pay for such tests but only for certain patients A conflict is building between patients and health insurers over the reluctance among health plans to pay for new, expensive molecular diagnostic assays and genetic tests that clinical laboratory companies offer. This conflict has caught the attention of the...

UCLA Researchers Develop Lens-Free Smartphone Microscope, Pathologists May Be Able to Take the Clinical Pathology Laboratory Just About Anywhere

In a trial, the lens-free microscope invention from the UCLA California Nano Systems Institute enabled a board-certified pathologist to detect cancers and other cellular abnormalities at 99% accuracy One of our favorite innovators is at it again, this time with a device that could eventually allow pathologists to use a device coupled with a smartphone to view cancer and other abnormalities at the cellular level. At UCLA, Professor Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D. is already well known for having invented...